In 1984, an initiative began to build a 1000-seat theater for Notre Dame in honor of former principal Sister Marion Rielly.  In 2000-2002, a master plan was developed by this office, which went far beyond the addition of a theater.  

The entrance shown above was completed in 2000, and was the first addition to the building since its construction in 1966.  This project also included a new lobby and renovated main office. 

In 2002, two classrooms were added within the building, along with a fitness center and renovated faculty room.  In 2011, the library was completely redesigned, and in 2013 the existing cafeteria and main computer lab were refurbished.

Original main entrance


The Master Plan of 2002 includes a new dining hall, ten new classrooms, new office suites, full handicap accessibility, and many other improvements.  Chief among the improvements proposed is a state-of-the-art theater facility, with ample wings, dressing rooms, a green room (which doubles as a chorus/band room), and a remote lighting/sound control room.  The new theater has its own lobby, and is linked to the new dining hall for theater/reception events.  The plan is so devised to allow multiple simultaneous events.

The rendering at the left shows the proposed appearance of the building from the Jefferson Street exit.  The theater is to the far left; the new dining hall, with large southeast windows, is in the center.


The mural to the right is part of the 2013 cafeteria renovation.  Designed by the Architect and executed by his son, artist Sam Halstead, it is titled "Begin With What You Know (It's Bigger Than You Think)."

Consultants:  PM Technical Services, Mechanical/Plumbing Design;  David E. Seymour PE, Structural Engineer

The rendering to the right shows lobby alterations, with interior stairs inside the vestibule doors eliminated, and the addition of an  accessible checkout counter.  The circulation desk is streamlined, with additional patron space carved from space currently wasted behind the counter.


Grafting an elevator on to a building that predates elevators is daunting; the budget is also a major concern.  Elevators with half-floor stops cost significantly more.  The solution here was to create a new entrance level at grade, from which the fellowship hall and education wing can be reached by ramps.  The elevator thus makes only two stops:  the entry level and the sanctuary.  It is sized to fit good-sized groups, or when needed, a coffin.  Also included is a unisex handicap toilet. 

The existing ceremonial entrance (view on right) is left untouched, but a new entrance, beyond, is clearly marked by an attractive pergola; the pergola also serves as a transition between the street side/parking area to the new memorial gardens to the rear (view above).  All of this is accomplished with modest exterior changes that preserve the stateliness of the original church.

Project scheduled for construction around 2015.

The first phase of work, construction of new accessible men's and women's rooms off the main lobby, is scheduled for construction in late 2014.


David E. Seymour PE, Structural Engineer

General Drafting and Design, Electrical/Mechanical/Plumbing Engineers

In the photo to the right, the innovative high ceiling of the kennels provides not only light, but a direct exhaust system to the exterior.  This mitigates the need for summertime air-conditioning by drawing in cool air from the hillside to the north and exhausting hot, humid air from the highest point in the space, with no filters to clog.  All lighting is high on the wall opposite the kennels, so that the kennels can remain hard-surfaced and easy to clean.

The building also features a sally port, so that animals can be off-loaded into a secure garage, as well as housing for cats, an office/reception, meeting room, food prep, grooming, and police storage facilities.

The existing church is a classic New England meeting house built in 1873, with a large education wing added in the 1970s.

The sanctuary, fellow- ship hall and education functions are currently on three different levels.  The challenge posed was to create full access, but not detract from the beauty of the existing church.


Bates Hall, University of Bridgeport, 2014-

Renovation of historic house to tech center and office facility

Salem Lutheran Church, Bridgeport CT  2014-

Handicap accessibility

The Klein Memorial Auditorium, Bridgeport CT, 2012-

Office wing/toilet room/social room addition, life safety/accessibility alterations, theater alterations ($10 million)

Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Bridgeport  CT, 2008 and 2013

Alterations to historic houses for homeless shelters

Valley Fire Training School, Derby CT  1987

Classroom building and Smoke-training building

Town of Easton 9/11 Memorial, Easton CT  2008

Connecticut Burns Care Foundation, Union CT  1999 and 2001

Two new buildings for dormitory and activity use

United House of Prayer Daycare Center, Bridgeport CT  1998

Interior alterations


Saint Patrick Church, Bridgeport CT 1996-2004

Restoration of upper church

Toilet rooms and handicap accessibility

Renovations to rectory for four classrooms

Parking lot and site design

Bridgeport Hope School, Bridgeport CT  1996

Alterations for preschool occupancy

Caroline House Adult Literacy Center, Bridgeport CT  1995

Conversion of house to classroom space

Fairfield Country Day School, Fairfield CT  1993

Library alterations

New Canaan Library (as Project Architect/Designer with SMS Architects), New Canaan CT  1990

Children's Room, Community Center (auditorium), and Accessions Department

Sharon Center School, Sharon CT  1984-86

Library/Media Center

Master Plan project

The Burroughs-Saden main library building dates to 1925.  Though solidly constructed, it has become outdated.  This office created a master plan in 2008 to revitalize the building.

Two parts of that plan are shown here.  The main entrance (view left) is made fully accessible.  The main entrance doors are raised to eliminate interior stairs, and the grand front steps are rebuilt in materials similar to the original building - brick, granite, bluestone and limestone.  A simple ramp to the left of the steps provides wheelchair access without need for porch-lifts or other mechanical contrivances.  The historic-style streetlamps are preserved, with stanchions for festive banners.

In the photos to the left, some of the building's key features can be seen.  The epoxy resin floor contains radiant hydronic heat, which keeps occupants (canine and human) warm in winter without pressurizing the building envelope, which would cause air leaks through the "guillotine" doors (photo far left) through which the dogs go to their exterior kennels.  The glazed- and glass-block interior is easily hosed down each day, pitched to a central trough/drainage system with stainless steel covers.

Built to last.

The Town of Easton had waited for years to build a new animal shelter.  The old facility was crumbling.  There were many hurdles to its completion, but in 2013 the new state-of-the-art Animal Control Facility opened.

The building is designed with residential scale and materials, so as not to disturb the character of the neighborhood, but there the similarities end.  It is a tough structure, meant to last many years without maintenance.  The exterior is white cedar siding, composite trim, 3-coat stucco, and glass block, with aluminum-clad windows and topped with a 40-year roof.  The interior of the kennel is glazed block with epoxy floors, and the cages are stainless steel.

These materials are costly, but budget projections were met.  Even more, the building came through the rigors of a low-bid competitive process without a single unforeseen extra cost during construction, due to the thoroughness of the specifications and details, and the vigilance of the Architect.


Consultants:  David E. Seymour PE, Structural Engineer; John A. Hofbauer, M/P/FP Engineer

General Contractor (2000-02):  The John L. Simpson Co.


Library renovation